What do you tolerate?
Reflections during the reading of the book "The New Tolerance." I will come back with some additional posts about the book.
The authors of the book "The New Tolerance" highlight many examples of how the new tolerance is spreading. In the "new tolerance" there are no absolute truths or values. Well, actually there is one single truth and value that is absolutely true and is superior to all other values: tolerance. But the new tolerance is selective. It is only tolerant of what is politically correct. Everything else the new tolerance is totally intolerant to.
In that the examples in the book are primarily collected from the North American scene, one can easily be misled into thinking that this is solely an American problem. But no. The new tolerance is equally widespread in Sweden.
One recent expression of the new tolerance in Sweden is the debate on school end-of-term ceremonies conducted in the Church. It is enough that a single student or parent feels offended by hearing the priest utter "God bless you", that all the other hundreds of students will be denied hearing the blessing pronounced upon their life. Why? Well, the new tolerance will not tolerate that there is someone who believes that there is a God and expresses it to other persons.
Another expression of the new tolerance can be found in public opinion on the web. I happened to end up on a website that has tolerance as the only guiding norm; EXPO Foundation. There they write about themselves and their values:
"Intolerance is a social problem because it creates distrust between people and prevents coexistence. Together, we can instead take responsibility for creating a society of tolerance and respect for human rights.
The Expo Foundation is politically independent. There is no political ideology that can claim to be the only right in the fight against intolerance. However, we believe that the democratic parties and organizations together can, and should, draw a boundary against intolerant ideas. "
The fundamental valuation is to be tolerant. But they say also that it is intolerant of any ideas that they themselves perceive as intolerant. Here are some questions to the Expo-foundation:
- Can you be tolerant of the view that it is wrong to perform abortions?
- Can you be tolerant of the view that cohabiting without being married is wrong?
- Can you be tolerant of the view that homosexual activity is sin?
- Can you be tolerant of Jesus' view that there is only one right way?
Without being entirely sure I believe the answer to the above questions is no.
Translated into English by Sven Ljungholm and published on fsaof.blogspot.com
Read also the comments on this blogpost here